One of my most pleasant, in fact, euphoric, car-buying experiences was at a dealership in Virginia. They had a “no haggle” policy.
“So let me get this straight,” I said, leaning against the shiny Jetta. “THIS sticker price is THE price?”
“Uh huh,” said Mr. Sales Guy.
“Can you throw in new tires?” I pressed.
“Nope, this is the price.”
“You gonna hit me with some hidden costs?” I prodded.
“Nope, this is the price.”
“Do you think I can get it it cheaper at the lot down the road?” I asked, eyebrow raised.
“Maybe, but probably not by much.” he shrugged.
“I’ll take it!”
And that was that. What suh-weet relief! The weekend before I was at a dealership where they did the “Just let me go talk to my manager,” good cop/bad cop crap, and tried to keep me on the lot for as long as possible. I guess they thought I was substantially dumber than I looked, because they treated me like was a moron – not the kind of guys I want to give my money to.
A “DEAL” ISN’T THE SAME AS VALUE, SUCKAH
You’ll never buy something from me that costs $495, because I know that you know that $495 is really $500. Yes, statistically speaking, the masses are suckers for the .95 cent price differentiator, but I’m not interested in the masses, I’m interested in the individuals that make up the masses. My first book, Style Statement, retails for $24.99. That price point is a battle that I lost with the publisher. $25 is so much more elegant and honest and space economical. Hell, sell it for $24 if you must, but please, don’t make my stuff look like it’s on sale. It’s worth the extra nickle. Statistics be damned.
SINCERITY IS EFFICIENT
Flexibility is strength. But ultimately, the wear ‘em down and round it down sham is just that – a sham. It’s a lot of foolish bravado that wastes precious time. This logic drives me nuts: Ask for $12,500 and go as low as $10,000. I get the “make everyone feel like they’ve won,” concept, but how about the “let everyone know that you’re honest, fair, and smart enough to know the value of what you’re selling” concept? If you’ll settle for $10,000 then ask for $10,000 firm and you won’t even need to throw in your best poker face. I know my shoot-straight idealism wouldn’t last a minute at a street market in Mumbai, but I mostly deal in the world of Craigslist and term sheets.
Sometimes negotiating is a necessity and a truly co-creative process. But too often we mindlessly buy into the the game playing (pun intended,) and it makes all the difference between honour and baseness. The game plays us as it seeps into our human interactions. The second guessing, the positioning, embellishment, the cleverness. Cleverness is an energy suck. Your value isn’t an “O.B.O” proposition. And you get what you ask for…so be honest about it.
Imagine the thrill of straight up requests and haggle free sales. Imagine believing what you see and meaning what you say. With all that hassle-time freed up, we’d have time to actually get down to business. And, y’know, have energy left over for the stuff that forms the bedrock of our souls — like being a mom.
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About Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality."
You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @daniellelaporte